Tag Archives: Ingenue

The name of the Img.ID of the Delicate Beauty

Encouragement in an Identity Crisis

This could be a story about you. Perhaps your losing your hair, have a major skin problem, are cross-eyed or confined to a wheelchair. This could be a story about a friend or family member, who’s Image Issue is not outwardly apparent to most, but is weighing on your heart because you know about her eating disorder, gender confusion, substance abuse, self-loathing.

Image Issues are uncomfortable.

Any identity crisis is personal and often very painful–especially while the crisis is active. Difficult times are easier to talk about when they are in the past. In truth, most battles become glamorous stories once time passes and pain subsides. Isn’t this why women tell labor stories when they are around a pregnant woman?

Painful pasts have powerful potential.

Stories of overcoming difficult times are usually helpful to those potentially facing the same problem, but we need to be sensitive about our timing for those actively in the emotional battle.

Broken beauty is still lovely

As an image consultant, I try to make it a point to recognize when a girl or woman may need to hear how beautiful they are. It’s what I do. A direct compliment can be awkward to receive and hearing “you are beautiful!” can throw any woman off-guard. I recently Continue reading Encouragement in an Identity Crisis

Sea-Saw of Confidence

Most women HATE, HIDE or get HUNG UP on their appearance. Who doesn’t hate certain parts and pieces of how they look? This is why so many of us hide under big, baggy sweatshirts, heavy makeup or hair coloring.

Some women love their appearance–or at least they have a way of persuading their audience that they love how they look. In reality, those who are hung up on looking good may very well hate themselves even more than those hiding.

Why is beauty such an emotion battle for so many of us? Wait, before you tell me that you have no emotional struggle over beauty, take a moment to search your soul.

  • How do you feel when you see a young girl hiding?
  • What are your thoughts toward girls who put too much emphasis on the way they look?

Think about it. Girls are condemned if they do cate about their image, and disgraced if they don’t. It’s not us the public eye, or the men in our lives, either. It’s us. We are the ones so hard on each other and on ourselves.

The way you treat your beauty (wether you hide it or strive to attain it) is a big indicator of your Img.ID:

C: Seldom STRIVE or HIDE; image is just a part of being professional.
N: Seldom STRIVE or HIDE; I prefer comfort over beauty.
D: More apt to STRIVE; I love to make things beautiful.
I: I prefer to HIDE from attention, but I often STRIVE to look stronger.
R: I love beauty, but tend to HIDE my own; when I STRIVE for it, I get hurt.
G: It’s not a big deal; I dress how I want when I want.

Click the letter to learn more about that Image Identity, including What2Wear.

We hide things we do not value.

If you are hiding your beauty there is a good chance you have not yet discovered your self-worth. Perhaps you have always felt ashamed, unwanted, uncared for. Your reason for feeling this way could be real or imagined, either way, emotions are often the driving force behind the way we represent ourselves. If you were teased for your height or weight, there’s a good chance you still feel foolish about that physical attribute. The truth is, beauty is not confined to you fitting into a popular height, weight, or any other attribute. Not everyone will appreciate your qualities, but your value is not negotiated by their opinion; don’t let it pull your confidence down.

We get hung up on things we overvalue.

If you are hung up on your appearance, there is  a good chance you are striving for someone else’s approval. I know. I’ve been there. It’s human nature to long to belong, but showing off something does not give it greater value. In fact, showing off turns people away. No doubt you have personally witnessed an adorable girl who knows how cute she is. It’s only cute for a little while before it becomes too much. People are easily turned off by a hangup, so don’t depend on great qualities to pull your confidence up.

We do not hate that which we we know is deeply loved.

If you hate the way you look, there’s a good chance you do not believe you have something beautiful to offer. You are wrong. Everyone has something worth sharing, but you will never be at peace about it until you decide to get off the sea-saw and find Beauty in Balance. I believe the secret to finding that peace is in understanding the depth of God’s love for you. When you believe that the Creator of the universe carefully choose each of your attributes with a purpose and a plan, you will feel differently about yourself. You’re not just any woman, you were made by the high-fashion Designer!

If you are struggling with the idea that you were lovingly formed by God, I encourage you to find a Bible and really search for answers. The thing is, once you believe that you have a “designer label,” you begin to notice how carefully designed all the other people around you are as well. Suddenly “average” seems silly and you see the beauty in the crazy-unordinary physical attributes.

What a creative God we have!

With this realization, you no longer feel the need to hide or to strive. Instead you have Beauty in Balance. That’s when you experience true confidence.That’s when you become a Confident Beauty.

*****

As an author and speaker, Catrina’s passion is in helping women and girls overcome confidence conflicts, especially those involving rejection, betrayal and loss. After 30 years in the beauty industry as both a cosmetologist and an image consultant, Catrina now uses her profession, her own powerful stories and her training as a Biblical life-coach to reach the heart in a way that is relatable, encouraging and inspiring. Her message is balanced with both fashion and faith and is making a difference  in the lives of women and girls all over!  To be part of this movement, connect with her on FacebookTwitter PinterestLinked In, Goodreads  and consider having her speak at your next event. Visit http://catrinawelch.com for more information.

What Makes You Valuable?

Since the beginning of time, every young child has had an innate longing to find the answer to one very important question. With each new experience, interaction and lesson of life, she collects data and applies it toward her answer. Somewhere around the teen years, she hits info-overwhelm. Like a cluttered desk, all that she has collected has piled up and she begins to wonder where the truth is. In her frustration and desperation for answers, she may frantically shuffle through the piles–moving papers–setting aside some ideas, destroying others. In her quest to find the answer, she may make a mess, but no matter how long it takes her or how painful it gets, she must know:   Continue reading What Makes You Valuable?

The Beauty of a Dream

What do you want to do with your life? Are you actively pursuing your dream, have you put it on hold or given up on it completely?

My dream ignited when I was a teen; I wanted to write a book. At first, the idea was faint and unemotional and throughout the years the title and topic changed a number of times, It was 1992 when the thought became a passion. That was also when I was faced with my Beauty Battle. For therapy, I began journaling. My entries were far to personal to ever be published, but in that storm of life, my writing skills developed. I would take another decade, however, before my confidence would recover. Continue reading The Beauty of a Dream

Do you Keep Clothes that Don’t Fit?

The American culture may consider skinny healthy and beautiful, but that is not always true.  In my experience, “skinny” was better described “sickly” or “drawn.” My struggle with weight was always in keeping it. After reaching forty,  however, it became easy to  keep meat on my bones, but, even then, weight-loss wasn’t a challenge. When my clothes got too tight, I simply cut out some carbs and increased my activity to be  able to return to my “proper” size. Now I’m nearly fifty; I understand the struggle. Apparently making simple shifts in the diet is no longer enough. I need to make a bigger commitment to change.

Losing weight is like wardrobe weeding; there are two approaches. 

Continue reading Do you Keep Clothes that Don’t Fit?

When Transitions Take FOREVER

keep goingIt’s Memorial Day Weekend. A lot of preparations have been happening on Cape Cod to prepare for the start of our busy season. Many businesses have reopened, restaurants have restocked and summer homes have been completed. 

Yet, as the tourists arrive, the excitement is clouded because the warm weather has not yet made it’s full transition. Our beach parties and backyard barbecues will likely need relocating out of the cold, wet wind.

Confidence and expectations

Life is full of delayed transitions. Consider the times you have worked hard to accomplish something  but one thing after another interrupts the progression and stalls the grand goal. Maybe it was your graduation, certification, the permitting of your business or occupancy of your home. Some goals we only have partial control over, like training our children, healing relationships, or motivating change.

Some transitions will never come without our conscious effort. Others we have no influence over.

Like the weather.

I’m quickly approaching fifty and I have experienced Summer each year of my life, haven’t you?

We can find confidence in consistent transitions. 

I feel bad for the people arriving “on Cape” right now. This may be their only weekend to visit our beautiful area of the world. Yet, in reality, the damp weather doesn’t change the beauty of our beaches.

Expectation does.

Unrealistic expectations clouds our vision of beauty in the transition.

Those of us who are blessed enough to be here longer than the holiday weekend ought to find peace in knowing that this is not our only chance to enjoy Cape Cod’s scenic landscape.

Expecting beautiful days makes difficult ones easier to endure.
How you handle delayed transitions is a big indicator of your Img.ID, what do you do when you are disappointed?

C: Learn more, work harder 
N: Stay steady, wait 
D: Feel devastated... or more determined 
I: Feel insulted and insecure
R: Shut down, feel discouraged
G: Take charge, make it happen 

Click the letter to learn more about that Image Identity, including What2Wear.

Confidence gives resilience in delayed transitions

As a new mom, I felt like a failure when my toddler took time to potty train. After  my own mom reassured me that my boy would not be in diapers forever, I began to relax and enjoy the process.

As a wounded divorcee, I was anxious about dating my future husband, until he reassured me that if our relationship was God’s will today, it would still be God’s will tomorrow and we should take one day at a time.

When I was writing Confident Beauty, I was also running my business, being a bookkeeper for my husband’s business, leading a women’s ministry and raising three active children. I wasn’t sure if I would ever get an agent or a publisher; but if I didn’t expect it to, I wouldn’t have continued writing. It took me four years to complete my manuscript.

If you are you running hard after a goal and experiencing Confidence Conflicts because of delayed transition, I encourage you to  find the strength  to keep going. There will be dreadful downpours–they may even happen on the days you expected to celebrate–but if you don’t allow unrealistic expectations to cloud your vision, you will eventually see that every type of  beauty finds its strength  by persevering through the damp and dreary days. 

And let us not grow weary while doing good,
for in due season we shall reap 
if we do not lose heart. -Galatians 6:9

*****

As an author and speaker, Catrina’s passion is in helping women and girls overcome confidence conflicts, especially those involving rejection, betrayal and loss. After 30 years in the beauty industry as both a cosmetologist and an image consultant, Catrina now uses her profession, her own powerful stories and her training as a Biblical life-coach to reach the heart in a way that is relatable, encouraging and inspiring. Her message is balanced with both fashion and faith and is making a difference  in the lives of women and girls all over!  To be part of this movement, connect with her on FacebookTwitter PinterestLinked In, Goodreads  and consider having her speak at your next event. Visit http://catrinawelch.com for more information.

Do Ashes Cover your Beauty?

My nieces were leaning on the edges of their seats, intrigued by the age-old story of Cinderella. My daughter was playing the role of the mistreated orphan who didn’t give up when life dealt her difficulties. Watching her performance through the eyes of the children had me reminiscing of the days when Tori’s  dream of being a princess wasn’t a performance in a play.

Little girls aren’t ashamed of their desires.

Deep within every female heart is a desire not only  to catch the eye of a prince, but to leave behind their meaningless, unappreciated lives and live an adventure.  Remember when you once thought you would  play an irreplaceable role in a most wonderful life in a far away place?

I remember my daughter’s first “princes dress.” She loved to twirl around to show her daddy how  full and beautiful it was on her. It made me panic.

I was afraid my little girl was becoming vain, so I did as most people who witness such behavior would: I talked her right off of her high and mighty horse and back into reality. Modesty is a golden virtue, right?  It’s our job to train our children in the way they should go, and the chances of my kid  becoming a princess is quite slim, so as a mom I thought it wise to protect her from life’s disappointments!

Surely that’s what Cinderella’s stepmother was thinking as well.

As we grow up, we reason that our desires are childish.

I love that my teen still freely enjoys “twirling” for an audience. She has a gift for acting and singing. When I was young, I was embarrassed by my love for the arts. I guess I was more like Cinderella that my daughter is.

“Cinderella, your are so SELFISH! Mend my dress!”

As her family demanded she worked for their dreams–while throwing insults at her’s–Cinderella was forgetting who she was designed to be. Like the filthy soot that covered her beautiful face, she allowed her burnt-out dreams–the cinders–to cover her identity. Her real name was Ella.

We cannot accomplish big dreams with squelched desires

We are all tempted to give up on our dreams. We also  have the option of pressing through life's oppositions  toward success. The way you respond to that second option is a big indicator of your Img.ID:

C: Get the education; do the work (The Classic)

N: Stay optimistic and loyal; don’t give up (The Natural)

D: Creatively make it happen (The Dramatic)

I:  Tenaciously hold your ground (The Ingénue)

R: Considerately continue on; quietly accomplishing (The Romantic)

G: Work hard; fight to get it done. Now. (The Gamine)

Click the letter to learn more about that Image Identity, including What2Wear.

Whether your dream is to  rule a nation or to have a happy family, you will only have the strength to accomplish it if you do not allow  the desire for it to burn out. Whichever way you or I respond to those who try to squelch our desires, we would all be wise to listen to the advice of the fairy god-mother, who says there are two morals to the story of Cinderella’s Glass Slipper:

  1. Be kinder and life will go well for you. Don’t act out of jealousy or be demanding like the stepsisters. You were dealt a certain hand; play with the cards you have. Forcing others to play your hand or to give your their’s is wrong. In the end, no one who cheats wins.
  2. If the shoe fits, wear it. Don’t cover your beauty with ashes. BE who you were designed to be.  A princess cannot lead well if she feels guilty for (or embarrassed by) her gifts, privileges and abilities.  Remember where you came from, or pride will  rob you of the joy of using your blessing to  bless others.

In the end, Cinderella figured out she was only beautiful when she became confident, so she washed off the ashes and put on her crown. Are you ready to do the same?

For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.  -Luke 12:48b

*****

As an author and speaker, Catrina’s passion is in helping women and girls overcome confidence conflicts, especially those involving rejection, betrayal and loss. After 30 years in the beauty industry as both a cosmetologist and an image consultant, Catrina now uses her profession, her own powerful stories and her training as a Biblical life-coach to reach the heart in a way that is relatable, encouraging and inspiring. Her message is balanced with both fashion and faith and is making a difference  in the lives of women and girls all over!  To be part of this movement, connect with her on FacebookTwitter PinterestLinked In, Goodreads  and consider having her speak at your next event. Visit http://catrinawelch.com for more information.

How Rhythm Affects Confidence

Consider the weather patterns and the cycles of seasons. The ocean’s tides ebb and flow aw the moon waxes and wanes. We literally schedule our lives around by the rhythm of nature. If there were ever a pause in the rising or setting of the sun, we would all panic.

It’s not just your surroundings that has rhythms. So does your body. Your breath and heartbeat have patterns; so do your physical needs, such as eating, sleeping and… getting your hair done.
When I worked in the salon, I was always fascinated by the different responses my clients had regarding scheduling their next appointment. I could always count on the Classic and the Gamine to fill my book six weeks out. The others, not so much. The Ingénue and Romantics were concerned someone else might need them and they did not want to say, “no” to anyone (or cancel on me!), so they would  shy away from rescheduling. The Natural doesn’t like to spend money and, to her, haircuts are a frivolous expenses. Besides, they do well with “wash-n-wear” styles that don’t need as much upkeep. The Dramatic, on the other hand, wants another appointment–she loves beauty treatments, but her spontaneous nature doesn’t like being committed to something that might keep her from another opportunity.

Yes, I may be generalizing. Your Img.ID is not the sole factor in how often you get your hair done–life is far more complicated than that–but, still, let’s consider why it’s so hard for most women to schedule time for themselves.


The way you feel about self-care is a big indicator of your Img.ID:

C: It’s necessary, professional and a private matter (Classic)

N: Haircuts are only worth the time or money when it’s necessary and practical (Natural)

D: Style and hygiene are important. Hair is a creative tool of expression. (Dramatic)

I: I love to be creative with my hair myself. There’s no need for someone else to fuss over me. (Ingénue)

R: I’d love to get pampered and made beautiful, but it feels selfish. (Romantic)

G: Maintaining a clean-cut appearance is vital to my identity. I like to have fun with my hair. (Gamine

Click the letter to learn more about that Image Identity, including What2Wear.

Find your rhythm

As professionals, most hairdressers will suggest another appointment before you check out of the salon. (It helps us to keep working, but more than that, it ensures that the client will be able to secure her favored stylist.) I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had a clients shocked that she needed me exactly when I wanted to schedule her.

If you have long, one length hair, you may be able to stretch out the time between your haircuts, but if you wear your hair with any kind of a style, I would recommend you figure out how often you will need a trim and plan accordingly. Most women need their hair cut every six to eight weeks. If you wear very short hair, then you may need two cuts within that time.

Hair grows. You may not be able to set your clock by the  rhythm of your follicle growth, but you can count on it enough to put some maintenance time in your calendar.

If you struggle with taking time for, or spending money on, your hair, I challenge you to consider your thoughts. Do you also feel guilty when you need to sleep or eat? I hope not! A woman with Confident Beauty knows her needs and takes responsibility for meeting them (including when that means asking for help). I think we could all learn from the rhythms of nature.

We all  take the time to sleep every day. We all buy groceries  every week. And we all have some things we need to take care of every month or so–like a haircut.

Think about it.

When we find the rhythm for taking care of our hair like we do our other cycles, we don’t have to go through the emotional torment of trying to decide if we need or deserve a little salon time  or not. Instead, when our hair starts to frizz or flop, we can rest assured in the confidence that we already have an appointment

No guilt. No shame. No need to justify, excuse or explain. Just pure and simple self-care.

*****

As an author and speaker, Catrina’s passion is in helping women and girls overcome confidence conflicts, especially those involving rejection, betrayal and loss. After 30 years in the beauty industry as both a cosmetologist and an image consultant, Catrina now uses her profession, her own powerful stories and her training as a Biblical life-coach to reach the heart in a way that is relatable, encouraging and inspiring. Her message is balanced with both fashion and faith and is making a difference  in the lives of women and girls all over!  To be part of this movement, connect with her on FacebookTwitter PinterestLinked In, Goodreads  and consider having her speak at your next event. Visit http://catrinawelch.com for more information.

When Beauty Triggers Ugly

By definition, an Ingénue (pronounced: änjəˌno͞o) is an innocent or unsophisticated young woman, especially one in a play or film. The Ingénue Image Identity is the Delicate Beauty. She typically has tight skin, a petite figure, softly feminine facial features and a sweet, gentle voice. Ingénues are almost always assumed younger Continue reading When Beauty Triggers Ugly

New Year, New You… Or Not.

Before the clock sticks midnight, how many goals and resolutions will you have set?

The pressure’s on. There’s a fresh, clean calendar in your hand; a chance to start over, reset, begin again. So, what’s your plan?

For many of us, as much as the new year represents a clean slate, it also embodies the unorganized, messy, out of control, old slate of years gone by. Every year we set new goals, and we start the first month with great ambitions and high hopes only to quickly return to our typical MO (Modus Operandi–or default-mode). I cannot tell you how many times I have quickly filled my new calendar with intentions and ambitions only to stress myself out with too much to do. If I did it all I would feel resentful toward those who had an easier schedule. If I didn’t do it all I’d feel the guilt of not accomplishing what I said I would (often only to myself!)

If I am not busy I feel as if I am not important.

The schedule was always a big one for me because a lot of my identity was wrapped up in my busyness. How about you; what’s your “big one”? What makes you feel important, successful, valuable? Chances are it’s more than one thing that drives you–popularity, achievement, appearance, health, strength, financial freedom, these are all areas we all want to do well in–but is there one or two that trip you up?

The core desire of your New Years Resolutions is a big indicator of your Img.ID:

agenda-1928416_640C: Success (The Classic tends to be driven by achievement; her goals often reflect her great ambitions with work or education.)

N: Practical (To the Natural desires simplicity, her goals may not look any different now than they did six months ago, but likely she is slowly and consistently still going after them.)

D: Relational (The Dramatic typically wants to be surrounded by people, but her private nature makes it hard for her to feel close to others, making relationships an important goal)

I: Personal (The Ingénue is often hard on herself and her goals reflect great ambitions to improve her already beautiful character.)

R: Compassion (The Romantic is often so focused on others that even her goals are about helping someone else.)

G: Fun (The Gamine is a high achiever and already ambitious at work, her goals are often about loosing up and having fun for a change.) 

Click the letter to learn more about that Image Identity, including What2Wear.

It took me a long time to recognized that the way I handled my schedule was actually a major Confidence Conflict. I would literally become anxious when  something would cancel in my schedule. Instead of pausing to catch my breath, I would hustle in a panic. I wanted to use my time wisely but there was so many demands I couldn’t decide which to do. It wasn’t as obvious when I had children at home, but once I was alone in my anxiety I couldn’t deny that I was afraid to slow down. I began to ask myself why free time stressed me out.

Sometimes we play mind games with ourselves. 

No matter what we value, if we feel we do not deserve it, then we may subconsciously sabotage our chance to achieve it.

I began to plan out every minute of my day–even down time–yet wouldn’t follow the plan because, in reality, I valued a balanced life, but felt I could never do enough to actually deserve it. I was manipulating my own mind in order to feel like I was going after my goals but in reality I was only frustrating myself.

As we start this new year, would you join me in laying aside resolutions to do better? Yes, looking good, having friends, being successful, enjoying down time, these are all valuable ambitions, but if we do not feel we deserve them, we will never allow our heart to want them. And in the end we really only do what we want. This year I don’t want to do better with my schedule. I want to do better at being honest with myself because I know now that in order to change my ways, I need to understand and love myself better. In doing so, I will understand and love others better, and what can be a better resolution than that?

*****

As an author and speaker, Catrina’s passion is in helping women and girls overcome confidence conflicts, especially those involving rejection, betrayal and loss. After 30 years in the beauty industry as both a cosmetologist and an image consultant, Catrina now uses her profession, her own powerful stories and her training as a Biblical life-coach to reach the heart in a way that is relatable, encouraging and inspiring. Her message is balanced with both fashion and faith and is making a difference  in the lives of women and girls all over!  To be part of this movement, connect with her on FacebookTwitter PinterestLinked In, Goodreads  and consider having her speak at your next event. Visit http://catrinawelch.com for more information.